I always enjoyed working with Ray.  He had a talent to deliver his commentary in a personable chatty way, just as if the tram passengers were his mates.  Such an approach is assured to work very well.  While a Trammie, Ray also qualified for his P Licence to occasionally drive the Welcome Aboard Grand Tour.  This has worked well for him in recent months.

In addition to driving for the re-started Grand Tour, he has been seconded to City Line Tours, mostly driving the Hanmer Connection service.  He enjoys the work, sometimes driving two return trips a day from Christchurch.  “Hanmer is such a lovely alpine village,” he tells me.

Some days he drops off and picks up adventure-minded travellers at the Welcome Aboard Thrillseekers attraction located near the Waiau River Ferry Bridge.  Ray is also known for his harmonica playing, performing at local gigs with a small band.  The band is off to the Dunedin Art Festival in October.  With his partner Ann, he has enjoyed a trip to Cuba, revelling in the local culture.  As with his Trammie colleagues, he has plenty to fill his time.  By chance I caught up with him in Rolleston Avenue when he was near the end of a Grand Tour.

I asked if he is keen to get back working on the trams.

“You bet,” he tells me.  “I enjoyed the trams more than any other job.”